How to Choose a Water Filter

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Ask This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey explains the many options available for filtering drinking water. (See below for a shopping list and steps.)

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Shopping List for How to Choose a Water Filter:
– Pitcher-style water filter
– Faucet-mounted water filter
– Under-sink water filter
– Under-sink reverse-osmosis water filter
– Whole-house water filter
– Sediment filter

Steps for How to Choose a Water Filter:
1. The simplest way to filter tap water is with a pitcher-style water filter, which has a granulated carbon filter that improves taste and odor, and removes some chlorine and sediment.
2. Faucet-mounted filters have a switch that diverts tap water through a granulated carbon filter. Turn on the switch for filtered drinking water; flip it off when washing dishes.
3. For greater water filtration convenience and capacity, install an under-sink, dual-filter system that has its own gooseneck faucet.
4. For optimum point-of-use filtration, consider a reverse-osmosis system. Water passes through a series of three filters, resulting in extremely clean, pure drinking water.
5. Whole-house water filters are installed near the water main and are ideal for delivering clean, filtered water to every faucet throughout the entire house.
6. There are a variety of filters available to remove a wide range of impurities.
7. Sediment filters contain a stainless-steel pre-screen filter and back-flush system that automatically cleans the filter.
8. For the highest level of water filtration, first have your tap water tested, then call in a water-treatment specialist to install a whole-house filtration system designed specifically to treat your water.

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